Sally Keith The Fact of the Matter: Poems

ISBN 13: 9781571314482

The Fact of the Matter: Poems

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9781571314482: The Fact of the Matter: Poems
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Moving from the mundane to the profound, first through observation of fact and matter, then shifting perspective, engaging a deeper sense of self, these poems re-imagine things great and small, making us care deeply about the world around us. In this cultivated and intricately crafted collection, Sally Keith shows the self as a crucible of force that which compels us to exert ourselves upon the world, and meanwhile renders us vulnerable to it. Force by which a line unfurls as in Robert Smithson’s colossal Spiral Jetty or leads with forward motion a train hurdling along the west-reaching railroad; Edweard Muybridge’s photographic reels charting animal and human locomotion. With poems remarkable in their clarity, captivating in their matter-of-factness, Keith examines the impossible and inevitable privacy of being a person in the world, meanwhile negotiating an inexorable pull toward the places we call home one we alternately try and fail to resist.

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From the Inside Flap:

Poetry $16

For Example

The pale undersides of sycamore leaves, knocking
at seed pods hanging in brown bunches

so that they helicopter down.
Slag heap, mad slack, taut song:

Which morning am I making up now?
Somewhere wild animals are seeking cool hollows

in which to lay themselves down.
A wall of cotton disperses in the wind.
Sally Keith is the author of two previous collections of poems, Design and Dwelling Song. She teaches at George Mason University and lives in Washington, DC.|Praise for The Fact of the Matter

Through contemporary voices and timeless contexts, these haunting poems fracture then rebuild lyric expectations. At times drawing from science and art, epic and elegy, The Fact of the Matter transcends, finally, description’s easy borders. Its achievement is singular and stunning and places Sally Keith at the forefront of younger American poets.” Linda Bierds

Force, says Simone Weil, turns humans to things; but beauty is also a force, and both forms are here turned from their inexorable forward movement toward the making of the artist, who transforms their energy into pictures and sounds so crystalline and still we can apprehend the place motion itself begins.” Eleni Sikelianos

These poems are the still moments between actions; time slowed to its instants, then silently reassembled, so that a thousand years ago is yesterday. Achilles removes his helmet in the next room while Dürer prepares a pigment. These are the unheard whispers of the Odyssey, the hidden corners of the master’s studio. Poems and Paintings and History and Love and the space one leaves them for. Herein is purest magic.” Martin Corless-Smith

In these poems stuck on the intricate work,’ Sally Keith proves herself not only among this generation’s most vital poets, she reveals herself as a profound thinker of art’s complicated relation to the people and events that fill it. A poem seems to be that which deals with time by resisting its relentlessly mortal march; in doing so it reveals the flaw of our own mortality. One cannot occur without the other, Keith knows. And so these poems trace the ongoing existences of disparate forces: Achilles mourning his lover’s death, Muybridge’s photos of a horse at full gallop, the act (and reenactment) of the golden spike connecting the nation by rail, Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, dinner with her mother, and diseased oaks in the yard. They speak lovingly of love’s complications love as a force that depends on fault and gives to its readers one of the few actual blessings I know: poems unsparing in their care.” Dan Beachy-Quick

From the Back Cover:

Praise for "The Fact of the Matter"
"Through contemporary voices and timeless contexts, these haunting poems fracture--then rebuild--lyric expectations. At times drawing from science and art, epic and elegy, "The Fact of the Matter "transcends, finally, description's easy borders. Its achievement is singular and stunning--and places Sally Keith at the forefront of younger American poets." --Linda Bierds
"Force, says Simone Weil, turns humans to things; but beauty is also a force, and both forms are here turned from their inexorable forward movement toward the making of the artist, who transforms their energy into pictures and sounds so crystalline and still we can apprehend the place motion itself begins." --Eleni Sikelianos
"These poems are the still moments between actions; time slowed to its instants, then silently reassembled, so that a thousand years ago is yesterday. Achilles removes his helmet in the next room while Durer prepares a pigment. These are the unheard whispers of the Odyssey, the hidden corners of the master's studio. Poems and Paintings and History and Love and the space one leaves them for. Herein is purest magic." --Martin Corless-Smith
"In these poems 'stuck on the intricate work, ' Sally Keith proves herself not only among this generation's most vital poets, she reveals herself as a profound thinker of art's complicated relation to the people and events that fill it. A poem seems to be that which deals with time by resisting its relentlessly mortal march; in doing so it reveals the flaw of our own mortality. One cannot occur without the other, Keith knows. And so these poems trace the ongoing existences of disparate forces: Achilles mourning his lover's death, Muybridge's photos of a horse at full gallop, the act (and reenactment) of the golden spike connecting the nation by rail, Smithson's "Spiral Jetty," dinner with her mother, and diseased oaks in the yard. They speak lovingly of love's complications--love as a force that depends on "fault"--and gives to its readers one of the few actual blessings I know: poems unsparing in their care." --Dan Beachy-Quick

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